The New England Biography Seminar is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. By providing an opportunity for those interested in the craft of biography to convene and converse, the seminar aspires to create a community that will support biographical works in progress and serve as a seedbed for future projects.


Leading authors of the genre will offer their insights and inspiration in a setting designed to generate conversation between panelists and the audience. This seminar will feature roundtable discussions rather than focus on pre-circulated papers or formal remarks. Plan to make new acquaintances and continue the conversation by joining us for the wine and cheese reception that follows each program.

 

We invite you to support this ongoing series as a subscriber. Subscribers help to underwrite the cost of planning and presenting this free series, including the wine and cheese reception that follows each program.

 

Schedule

November

Biography Seminar Writing with Giants: Making the Human Larger than Life 12 November 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   John Stauffer, Harvard University Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64 Civil War biographer Carol Bundy talks with John Stauffer, a leading historian of the antislavery ...

Civil War biographer Carol Bundy talks with John Stauffer, a leading historian of the antislavery movement and the Civil War, about his upcoming biography of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, whose moral stand on slavery led to his being beaten on the Senate floor. Writing about Charles Sumner, a complicated man whose life didn’t neatly conform to expectations both in the public and the private sphere, raises all sorts of questions about the uses of biography and the biographical approach to unveil the moral dimension of social change. Stauffer is the author of over a dozen books including Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.


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January
Biography Seminar Biography, Inc.: Two Writers Talk about the Trade 21 January 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College, and Megan Marshall, Emerson College Moderator: Susan Ware, American National Biography Join Christopher Benfey and Megan Marshall in a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Susan Ware ...

Join Christopher Benfey and Megan Marshall in a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Susan Ware about teaching, reviewing, and writing biography.  Christopher Benfey, Mt. Holyoke College, is the author of A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade as well as The Double Life of Stephen Crane and Degas In New Orleans.  His current work is on  Rudyard Kipling.  Megan Marshall, Emerson College, is the author of The Peabody Sisters and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.  She is at work on a biography of Elizabeth Bishop, with whom she studied “verse writing” at Harvard College.

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April
Biography Seminar BioFictions—Turning “Real” People into Fictional Characters 7 April 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Lily King (Euphoria), Matthew Pearl (The Last Bookaneer), and Alice Hoffman (The Marriage of Opposites) Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College Novelists often go to great lengths in researching past lives only to turn their findings into ...

Novelists often go to great lengths in researching past lives only to turn their findings into fiction.  In a discussion moderated by Megan Marshall, novelists Lily King, Matthew Pearl, and Alice Hoffman, will talk about the process, where they draw the line between fact and fiction, and what inspires them to make fiction out of history.  Lily King’s recent novel, Euphoria, reimagines a controversial chapter in the life of the young Margaret Mead.  Matthew Pearl’s five novels include The Dante Club (set in 19th-century Cambridge among the Fireside Poets), The Last Dickens, The Poe Shadow, and most recently, The Last Bookaneer, featuring Robert Louis Stevenson.  Alice Hoffman, the author of over two dozen books, often uses history in her fiction; The Marriage of Opposites, her latest novel, is based on the life of Camille Pissarro’s mother in a community of Jews living in exile on St. Thomas.

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More events
Biography Seminar Writing with Giants: Making the Human Larger than Life Please RSVP  this event is free 12 November 2015.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM John Stauffer, Harvard University Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64

Civil War biographer Carol Bundy talks with John Stauffer, a leading historian of the antislavery movement and the Civil War, about his upcoming biography of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, whose moral stand on slavery led to his being beaten on the Senate floor. Writing about Charles Sumner, a complicated man whose life didn’t neatly conform to expectations both in the public and the private sphere, raises all sorts of questions about the uses of biography and the biographical approach to unveil the moral dimension of social change. Stauffer is the author of over a dozen books including Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.


New England Biography Seminar series information

close
Biography Seminar Biography, Inc.: Two Writers Talk about the Trade Please RSVP  this event is free 21 January 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College, and Megan Marshall, Emerson College Moderator: Susan Ware, American National Biography

Join Christopher Benfey and Megan Marshall in a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Susan Ware about teaching, reviewing, and writing biography.  Christopher Benfey, Mt. Holyoke College, is the author of A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade as well as The Double Life of Stephen Crane and Degas In New Orleans.  His current work is on  Rudyard Kipling.  Megan Marshall, Emerson College, is the author of The Peabody Sisters and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.  She is at work on a biography of Elizabeth Bishop, with whom she studied “verse writing” at Harvard College.

New England Biography Seminar series information

close
Biography Seminar BioFictions—Turning “Real” People into Fictional Characters Please RSVP  this event is free 7 April 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Lily King (Euphoria), Matthew Pearl (The Last Bookaneer), and Alice Hoffman (The Marriage of Opposites) Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College

Novelists often go to great lengths in researching past lives only to turn their findings into fiction.  In a discussion moderated by Megan Marshall, novelists Lily King, Matthew Pearl, and Alice Hoffman, will talk about the process, where they draw the line between fact and fiction, and what inspires them to make fiction out of history.  Lily King’s recent novel, Euphoria, reimagines a controversial chapter in the life of the young Margaret Mead.  Matthew Pearl’s five novels include The Dante Club (set in 19th-century Cambridge among the Fireside Poets), The Last Dickens, The Poe Shadow, and most recently, The Last Bookaneer, featuring Robert Louis Stevenson.  Alice Hoffman, the author of over two dozen books, often uses history in her fiction; The Marriage of Opposites, her latest novel, is based on the life of Camille Pissarro’s mother in a community of Jews living in exile on St. Thomas.

New England Biography Seminar series information

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